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What intimidates you?

  1. May 18, 2005 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    I was just thinking about this as the lightning storm faded into the distance. I used to be the first one to run outside, or while in N. California, to drive to the top of the dam to watch a lightning storm. Of course the car is pretty safe but I would get out! I never thought the odds of getting hit were actually signficant. But since becoming a lightning buff I have learned that the opposite is true. Also, Tsu and I were nearly hit by lightning; or at the least, it was so close that I could hear the ionic wind before the main discharge. And there was no discernable delay between the flash and the bang. This definitely got my attention! Finally, it doesn't take a direct hit to cause serious injuries; almost is often good enough. Not too long ago it was in the local news that a something like five to ten cows were all killed while standing under a tree that was hit by lightning. What's more, many lightning strike survivors are really screwed up for life; with all sorts of other problems popping up later. So now when I hear an approaching storm, I disconnect and terminate any land line and power connections, and I stay inside and watch out the window.

    In fact, here comes another one. gotta go. :biggrin:
     
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  3. May 18, 2005 #2

    arildno

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    The subway system in Oslo. It's a death-trap where they've had many near-faccidents (fires&collisions).
    Just recently, they caught a disgruntled ex-employee who had started making small fires in the tunnels.

    If we're unlucky, we'll get our own King's Cross disaster here.
     
  4. May 18, 2005 #3

    brewnog

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    Similar story actually, although having lived through it, I'm now less worried to be in the middle of such storms!

    I was out rock climbing in the Peak District with a friend a few years ago. It was a glorious day, we left to walk home mid-afternoon. We were walking across a big, exposed moor, and we began to see those trademark towering clouds close in. We carried on walking, but a bit swifter than before. We hadn't counted on thunderstorms, and were just wearing shorts and t-shirts.

    About 5 minutes into the storm, and our climbing gear (round our waists) started humming and buzzing! I'd not heard of this happening before, so I got a teeny bit scared. There was nothing but heather moorland for a few miles around, so we just coiled up our ropes (trying to keep them dry) and sat on them crosslegged, until the thunder and lightning stopped. As with Ivan's story, there was a point where the flash and bang reached us simultaneously. The thunder was incredible, we could feel it pounding our lungs. It was absolutely spectacular, if terrifying. Anyway, after it passed, we were drenched to the core, but we lived to see the end of the storm, unlike a cow we passed on the way home.

    (Cows get killed by lightning a lot more easily than humans; the step potential between their front and hind legs can be extremely large if they're close to the strike, and facing the right (wrong!) way.)

    Anyway, the point is, thunderstorms remain one of my top 5 favourite things ever. :smile:
     
  5. May 18, 2005 #4

    Evo

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    According to what they call being "hit by lightning" on the TLC show about people that have been hit more than once, I've been "hit". I was talking on a corded phone when lightning hit the ground right outside my house and it came up through the phone. It was a pretty strong shock, it knocked the phone out of my hand and damaged my hearing in that ear for awhile. I lost a tv, 2 phones, a fax machine and an answering machine. I have super duper surge protectors everywhere now.

    Another time I had just gotten into my car when my hair lifted up then I heard a very loud crack and I saw dirt flying up into the air, like a bomb had hit. Apparently lightning hit the ground a few yards from the car. I hate to think what would have happened if I had been standing outside the car.

    Since the Evo child and I watched that show, we have both been afraid of lightning, I never realized how easy it is to get hit. I didn't realize how dangerous it is to get near plumbing during a storm.
     
  6. May 18, 2005 #5
    Wow, Evo! I'm glad that you're fully recovered, and I'm sorry to hear about your electronics. Those sound like scary experiences. Hopefully nothing like that will happen again.
     
  7. May 18, 2005 #6
    That must've been freakin' scary!
     
  8. May 18, 2005 #7
    The Atlantic Ocean can be both beautiful and intimidating. I thought I would feel safe in a 800ft ship, but it was little comfort when I was watching the monitors and could see waves coming up over the flight deck over 50 ft above sea level. The whole ship would go up and up and up and I would feel heavy. Then it would fall and it would feel like I was on the moon. The ship would plow into the next wave and all that weight came back. It didn't help that I felt like a sardine in a can.

    A few hours later I was trying to sleep and a wave must have hit us broadside because the ship leaned way over to port. It almost dumped me right out of my rack. I had to hold myself in with my hands to keep from falling out. I didn't even know the ship could lean that far over without capsizing. It seemed like the ship hung on the edge for a moment and then went back vertical. It was probably the most frightened I have been of nature. There's nowhere to go. Nothing to do.

    I don't think I would want to know what passing through a storm like that would be like in a small boat. Something like Perfect Storm maybe, but that movie pissed me off a little at the end. I didn't like how they depicted the storm at the end with waves that looked over 100 feet high. They are scary enough at half that height.
     
  9. May 18, 2005 #8

    Evo

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    I'm cursed, stuff like this happens to me all the time. :grumpy: A few years ago I had three cars totaled and my house damaged in a freak "supercell" storm that had baseball sized hail.

    zoobie, is this the real reason I'm alone? :frown:
     
  10. May 18, 2005 #9

    Moonbear

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    Heck, you don't even need big waves. Being out in the bay was scary enough during a thunderstorm watching lightening strike 10 or 20 ft from the boat. I remember my parents double checking everyone was properly buckled into life jackets and wondering if they would do much good if lightening was striking the water around us. We were all terrified when that storm hit out of nowhere; by the time we saw the storm clouds, we couldn't outrun it (it wasn't in the forecast, and I don't think we had the radio on to get any weather alerts). I'm feeling a bit of an adrenaline rush even now just recalling that, and it was probably 20 or 25 years ago!

    My dad told me about the time he was out with my grandfather and they got caught in something like 20 ft waves in the ocean. A coast guard ship was able to get out to them and escort them back, but as they went down one side of the wave and the CG ship down the other side, out of view of each other, there was nothing the CG could do at the time other than stay close if the boat capsized and try to fish them out of the water.
     
  11. May 18, 2005 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    Evo, the telephone is I believe the number one way to get killed by lightning. You were very lucky to survive. There is nothing like a few hundred, up to ten thousand amps through the head. Edit: well, you would probably never pull 10,000 amps through the phone, but close enough; 0.1% of that will do.

    Then you were probably targeted by a failed step leader; meaning that you nearly took a direct hit!

    Both episodes are very scary indeed! :surprised
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2005
  12. May 18, 2005 #11

    Evo

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    :frown: I didn't realize it's that dangerous. I purposely have a corded phone here to use because the electricity goes out so often and corded phones don't need power. I guess I will stay off of them.

    Did you see the video of the soccer game where the entire team was knocked unconcious due to a lightning strike? The field was wet and the electrical surge covered the field.

    Brewnog, you're VERY lucky.

    Huck, I think that's the scariest, a storm at sea in a small boat. :surprised
     
  13. May 18, 2005 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    I remember several similar episodes over the years. Who remembers Lee Trevino?
     
  14. May 18, 2005 #13
    I was in a large ship and I was afraid. Being in a small boat in a storm like that would have been much worse. I wasn't really at much risk, although I wouldn't have said that at the time. Seems like you had a really close call :uhh: , and brewnog too.
     
  15. May 18, 2005 #14
    A tourist boat up the Hudson River scared the crap outta me when I was 5. Since then, it has always been Disnyland *cringes*
     
  16. May 19, 2005 #15

    Moonbear

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    I had a friend in college who was hit by lightning. She was hiking around the Grand Canyon and there wasn't even a storm, just this bolt of lightning that hit the tree next to her and then bounced over to her somehow. She woke up in the hospital and didn't remember any of it, so there could be inaccuracies in exactly how it happened since she had to rely on what other people told her they saw. It had hit her sort of mid-back, and she had a really cool zig-zagging scar from the spot where it hit her all the way down one leg. She's just lucky it hit the tree first or she probably wouldn't have survived it. Once she healed from the burns, she was fine...really lucky it wasn't worse!
     
  17. May 19, 2005 #16
    I remember freaking out as kid when I saw this clown midget. Scared the aorta out of me. You never know about this clowns..
     
  18. May 19, 2005 #17
    My brother had nightmares for months after watching Stephen Kings "It." Can't really trust a clown anyway. They have a dubious history.
     
  19. May 19, 2005 #18
    Tornados, the sky turns green, and for a short time its so deadly quiet, then things fly by you that shouldn't aught to be fly'in.
    Now watching the storms on the Great Lakes is breath taking, and very romantic!
     
  20. May 19, 2005 #19
    I've heard of that before. I've seen skies turn green but never a real tornado. What makes the sky turn green?
     
  21. May 19, 2005 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://weathersavvy.com/Q-Tornadoes_GreenSky.html
     
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